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The Checkerbloom

One of my favorite parts about living and working at Deerfield is the beautiful wetlands that surround the winery. They support an incredibly diverse wildlife population that animates the landscape. A beautiful egret adorns one of the metal giraffes on the small island in the pond. Here and there a few quails dart down the road. At night the volume of the frogs’ song is incredible! At one point much of the Valley Of The Moon was covered with wetlands like the Kenwood Marsh. Now rows of vineyards cover almost every acre and the marsh is the last of it’s kind. Deerfield was constructed keeping the wetlands in mind and the owners Robert and PJ Rex have set up a non-profit organization called the Kenwood Marsh Checkerbloom Society that is tasked with the restoration and preservation of the wetlands.

A perfect example of the distinctiveness of the rare wetland is the Kenwood Marsh Checkerbloom, an endangered species that is native to the marsh. It is only known to grow in one other area on earth. With the help of conservationists, we are protecting the plant, which has beautiful pink flowers, from becoming extinct. The seeds of the plant have been collected and propagated at the rare plant herbarium in the botanical gardens of the University of California. The mature plants were transported back to the Kenwood Marsh where I helped botanist Kate Symonds of the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife to plant them in a site that mimics where they were originally found. You can watch it on Cellar Rat TV. It was a rewarding experience and I often go check on them too see how they’re doing. Right now they are in full bloom and the pink flowers peek out of the tall marsh grass.

This Saturday we are having our annual fundraising event to benefit the Kenwood Marsh Restoration Fund and the Kenwood Marsh Checkerbloom. You can support the project by coming to “Monte Carlo Night In The Caves”. We are going to have professional poker, blackjack, and craps tables as well as a checkers tournament with big prizes on the line, including a case of DRX and a weekend at the Ranch. There will be a live sushi bar and wine by the glass so anybody can come enjoy some great wine and food to support the Checkerbloom even if you’re not into games or gambling. Click the event flyer below for more information!